Catching Up With… Snow Patrol

Music Features Snow Patrol

Paste: You mentioned before A Hundred Million Suns is a bit more experimental, and it does sound more moody and atmospheric, particularly on songs like “Engines” and “The Golden Floor.” What influenced this newfound experimentation?
Lightbody: The music that we listen to is generally unusual. People probably imagine our music taste to be a little conservative. But we’re inspired by so many different types of music and eras and genres. I’m a massive, massive music fan. I can’t live without it. At some point, it’s always going to tip over into what we do. When I sit down with a guitar, the most natural thing in the world for me is to write pop songs with choruses. This time around we all wanted to invest into the songs some of what we actually listen to on a daily basis, the more unusual music and unusual approaches. We wanted to take our melodies to their almost breaking point and see how far we could push these songs.

Paste: What inspired you to do “The Lightning Strike,” the 16-minute closing track? Is that a song you’d ever attempt live?
Lightbody: Yeah, in the rehearsel room we’re already piecing it together. But we’re not Tool, we’re not Isis, these really long songs don’t come very naturally to us. We can’t imagine over 10 minutes in our heads, that’s why the song is in three parts. They work very well individually, but as a whole I think they build up real drama. We’re going to try and do it live, but we’ll have to see how it works. I think it will work fine.

Paste: I’ve seen you profess your devotion to the band Super Furry Animals here and elsewhere. Were there any other artists that you listened to while in the studio making this record?
Lightbody: I adore the Miracle Fortress album, I think I listened to that pretty much everyday. Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown, Laura Marling, MGMT, Animal Collective, LCD Soundsystem…Sigur Rós released a record while we were in the studio. Just music that stands on its own, you know? It really energizes me to hear music that seems to be made on a knife-edge.

Paste: Most of us Americans only really became aware of Snow Patrol when Final Straw took off in 2004, but you guys have been writing and making music since the 1990’s. Since the band began with humble beginnings, does that make it easier to enjoy the success you’ve achieved? Has it hit you yet how big the band has become?
Lightbody: No, we never let ourseleves lose run of things. We’re all very good at keeping each other’s feet on the ground. We’re completely and utterly delighted we have achieved world success and can tour around the world. We’ve always wanted to do that. For the first 10 years of the band we did very little more than tour the U.K. and Ireland. It was very limiting and frustrating; we felt caged. Getting to tour the States and getting out to Australia, New Zealand, Japan—all these places you dream of playing when you’re a kid and when you start a band. It all finally happened a decade later, but sometimes you need to wait for these things.

But as you implied, it made us much more prepared for success. We’ve seen what it’s like on the other side of this coin, you know? We’ve had the nights sleeping in the van with the amps; the nights sleeping on somebody’s floor, all four of us in our crew curled up in a ball. We know what the shit end of the stick is like. We’re not taking anything for granted. We know one day it could all collapse.

Paste: When can fans expect Snow Patrol on a North American tour?
Lightbody: Definitely next year. I’m not 100% sure yet, we haven’t even gotten the U.K. dates finalized yet, they’ll be the first. And then straight after the U.K. and Ireland we’ll come to the States.

Pages: 1 2

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin